Hearing aids and height fail to stop ballet break
Hannah Sumner, who has been accepted by the English National Ballet, despite the fact that she needs to wear a hearing aid
A TEENAGE dancer refused to let hearing problems keep her from winning a place with the English National Ballet Youth Company.
Hannah Sumner, who uses hearing aids, has been dancing since she was five years old.
The 16-year-old beat more than 100 other dancers to secure one of eight coveted places with the youth company.
Hannah is now encouraging other youngsters to continue chasing their dreams, even if the odds are against them.
She said: “I have had hearing problems for years and it was in year 7 that I went for a hearing test and they prescribed me with hearing aids.
“It’s not amazing to wear them but I need to and I really struggle if I don’t have them in.
“When I don’t wear them I really struggle to hear the rhythms.
“I think it shows that with dancing you can have anything, and as long as you can see and you have talent you can dance. Even though I have hearing aids they still accepted me.
“Something like that shouldn’t hold you back from doing something you love.”
As well as hearing problems, Hannah is unusually tall for a ballet dancer at 5ft 10ins, but that also hasn’t stopped her.
She said: “If you are really tall, you are going to be even taller when you are on point. I am about six foot when I am on point so any partner work means I will have to be with a man who is about 6ft 2ins, and there aren’t very many ballet dancers that tall.
“It does put you off because you get told you’re too tall for being a ballet dancer, and that does hurt.
“But then you just have to remember that there are many ballet companies around the world, and some do look for taller dancers.”
Hannah found out she had been accepted by the company during the week when she received her GCSE results, having been auditioning in the summer.
She said: “I felt amazing when I found out because I was on holiday at the time.
“I wanted to join them because I saw a clip of them on the internet and I just thought I really wanted to do it and it just seemed amazing and my style.”
Hannah now travels to London every Friday to train with the company.
Mum Sarah said: “We are so proud of her.
“Hannah started dancing to try and improve her balance and it helped a lot.
“Her teachers have been so supportive.”
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